Ahead of Saturday’s sold out away fixture in Lancashire, @MattyCrichton spoke to opposition fan @RawMilkZine who answered our questions about Accrington Stanley.
Whilst there is heavy expectation on Sunderland to be promoted this season, do you feel that with it being Accrington’s first season competing in the 3rd tier that the players are benefitting from playing under no pressure?
They are, and they aren't. There's a certain level of expectation that it seems a lot of the fan base have carried over from last season. We had a great start and there was talk of back to back promotions but the last month has put everyone back in check a bit. We need to just concentrate on steadying our position a bit.
The match is completely sold out with both teams possessing a near even split worth of tickets. How do you feel this will affect the match as there will not be a usual majority of home supporters?
We're used to it to tell you the truth. All throughout our time in League 2 teams were often bringing more away fans than there was home. We just do our best to make as much noise as possible and hopefully people can see that on Saturday.
John Coleman has managed Accrington in the 7th tier and now the 3rd tier of English football. Why has he been so successful at Accrington in an era where managers often are not given time to make significant changes?
John's success is a bit of an anomaly. He's gone elsewhere, and it hasn't quite worked for him, so he values what Accrington has given him. And in turn, we understand just how much he's given us. It sounds a bit wishy washy, but it's refreshing to see and he's an absolute legend.
Accrington did not win a league game in November but have been successful in cup competitions, are you at all worried about going on a long run without victory in the league?
We went through a two-month barren spell last year at the same time and still won the league. I'm not at all saying we're going to do that because the league is a lot better. Just get our heads down again and pick up a few points, we should be able to get out of the rut.
I would imagine the majority of Sunderland’s fanbase have rarely watched Accrington play, who would you say are the star players within your side that could cause us problems?
The two wingers have been the main men this year. Particularly McConville on the left, he's really come into his own and looks like he's played at this tier for years. Kee can always hurt you if you give him a sniff and most teams have marked him heavily so far. Dan Barlaser is quality in the middle and on loan from Newcastle, so I think he'll be well up for it.
Would you say Accrington have any recognised tactics or a certain style of play under Coleman that could cause Sunderland trouble?
We go high intensity early and usually create chances for 20 minutes because of it. If we don't score in those first moments, then we usually ease off a bit. I expect the same on Saturday, so I hope for our sake we see an early goal. Barlaser and Finley in the middle will look to move the ball quick.
As Sunderland are looking to gain promotion and eventually return to the Premier League one day. What do you think were the key factors which brought Accrington up several divisions in a short period of time?
When you say short period of time you've got to remember it took us 20 years to climb 4 divisions. I think you belong up there, but fans need to be patient. Enjoy your time in League 1 and get behind the lads. The key to success is togetherness in my opinion. So cheer them on, have a laugh and you'll be fine.
Sunderland currently sit second in League One after only been beaten once, from an outside perspective do you think we will be promoted?
I think Sunderland should get promoted and will get promoted.
Lastly, we are the clear favourites to win the match, if you were to give an honest opinion what do you think the score will be on Saturday?
I'd take a point now, that's all I'm saying on the result.